Osborne 1

The Osborne 1 was the first widely accepted portable computer that included a monitor, disk drives and all components.

It was introduced in 1981 at the West Coast Computer Faire. It had 64 Kb of memory, a 5 inch display screen and had two floppy disk drives and a full sized keyboard.

The Osborne weighed 24 pounds and relied on the CP/M operating system. It sold for $1,795 which included  Micropro's Wordstar software.

The Osborne 1, was very popular. In 1982, over 125,000 Osborne computers were sold and in 1983 Osborne announced that it would produce an IBM compatible portable computer, to be called the "Vixen."  However, Compaq Computers beat Osborne to the market with their own IBM compatible machine.  Osborne 1 sales dropped off as people waited for the "Vixen" and Osborne Computers went into bankruptcy, and never recovered the market share for portable microcomputers.

Specification Summary:

  • Dual 5.25" floppy disk drives
  • Built-in 5" black and white monitor
  • Zilog Z80A CPU
  • 64K bytes RAM
  • 4K bytes ROM
  • IEEE-488 Interface
  • RS-232C interface
  • Modem interface
  • Detachable keyboard

Manufacturer: Osborne
Date: 1st January 1981

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Osborne 1 Manuals:

Item Manufacturer Date
Osborne WordStar with MailMerge MicroPro Unknown
Ohio SuperBoard Instructions Ohio 1978
Osborne Spellguard Osborne 1980
Osborne 1 User's Reference Guide Osborne Computer Corporation 1981
Osborne 1 Users Reference Guide Osborne Computer Corporation 1981
Osborne Mailman Osborne 1981
Osborne System Checker Osborne 1981
Osborne Documate/Plus Osborne 1981
Osborne Footnote Osborne 1981
Osborne Micro Link Osborne 1981
Osborne Math Osborne 1981
Osborne Grammatik Osborne 1981
Osborne Enumerator Osborne 1982
Osborne 1 Double Density User's Manual MicroPro 22 Dec 1982
Osborne System Software Upgrade No 1 Osborne 1983

Magazines RELATED to Osborne 1 in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Personal Computer World - November 1981 Nov 1981
Practical Computing - February 1982 Feb 1982
Practical Computing - June1982 Jun 1982
Practical Computing - July 1982 Jul 1982

Other Systems Related To Osborne 1:

Item Manufacturer Date
Osborne 01 Osborne 1st January 1982
Osborne 5 (Prototype) Osborne (Mikrolog Ltd) 1984

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH504. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Osborne 1

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